John 21:1-5
John 21:1 (KJB)
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself.
The Sea of Tiberias was the Roman name for the Sea of Galilee as it was named after Emperor Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus who ruled Rome from 14-37 A.D. Jesus makes another appearance to the disciples at the Sea of Galilee. Since the Sea of Galilee was about 80 miles north of Jerusalem, it seems that the appearance of the Lord had given the disciples boldness to leave the place where they were huddled in fear of the Jews. So definitely a little time had gone by between Chapter 20 and 21. Jesus did not lodge with the disciples but made many appearances to them.
John 21:2 (KJB)
There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
John records those disciples who were present when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to them. Two of them were unnamed.
John 21:3 (KJB)
Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
Since Peter was a fisherman, he seemed to return to his old occupation. For the last three years they had lived on donations and the hospitality of others and maybe their finances had dried up and they needed to do something to make money for sustenance. Peter had a wife which he needed to support but little is known of the families of the other disciples. Peter was always the most boisterous one and his suggestion of going fishing had probably convinced the other ones to accompany him since they would have been in the same financial predicament. Unfortunately, even with all the experience in fishing they had, they had caught nothing for a whole night’s work. This must have been discouraging for them.
John 21:4 (KJB)
But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
Since they had caught nothing all night, they were now headed for shore where they probably thought that they would try it again the next night. Jesus now appears to them as they are heading for shore. At this point they did not know that it was Jesus who was waiting for them on the shore. He could have manifested Himself to them and helped them in fishing but He allowed them to fish all night for the purpose of what He was about to teach them. They probably did not expect to see Him in that setting on the shore.
John 21:5 (KJB)
Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
Jesus knowing full well that they did not catch anything all night then asks them the question as to whether they had any meat, referring to fish. They had answered no, still not knowing that it was Jesus on the shore speaking with them. It might have been embarrassing for professional fishermen to admit that they caught nothing. At their lowest time as fishermen, Jesus was about ready to reveal His power over animal creation and to guide His wayward fishermen disciples.